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Anthony, Susan B.

LETTER: ALS to Annie Pillsbury Young.


Anthony To The Niece Of Fellow Suffrage Parker Pillsbury
About Kansas Campaigns
Anthony, Susan B. Autograph Letter Signed to Annie Pillsbury Young [Parker Pillsbury's Niece]. Rochester, New York: January 13, 1903.  
Typewritten Letter Signed, two pp., large quarto; on letterhead of National American Woman Suffrage Association to Annie Pillsbury Young in Manhattan, Kansas; with nine corrections and revisions in Anthony's hand and with original holograph envelope. In a specially made cloth slipcase.
Susan B. Anthony writes to the niece of her good friend and fellow reformer, Parker Pillsbury. She talks about the two previous Kansas suffrage campaigns and refers to her two brothers, Daniel and Merritt, who settled there. Annie Pillsbury Young (1858-1940) was the daughter of Josiah and Alnora Pervier Pillsbury. From her papers (at Kansas State University) we know she was an author and poet. In referring to the Kansas campaigns, Anthony refers back to the years between 1848-1865 which has brought vast changes in women's rights through conventions devoted to that cause, speechmaking and articles and pamphlets. The women had, however, put away their cause for the duration of the Civil War, believing that a grateful country would reward them at the close of hostilities. This was not to be.
Parker Pillsbury (1809-1898) to whose niece this current letter is addressed, and is referred to, was a minister, social reformer, lecturer, public office-holder, and radical supporter of the women's suffrage and anti-slavery movements. His advocacy of women's suffrage was ardent and continuous, and his personal friendship with Susan B. Anthony lasted decades. From 1868 to 1870 he was coeditor (along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton) of the suffragist paper The Revolution, published by none other than Anthony.
This is an especially revealing letter, discussing the relationship of the government to the governed in broad philosophic terns and is quite unusual for the pragmatic Anthony. It contains a play on words in the opening paragraph, displaying a sense of fun-again, not the usual for Anthony. She mentions Mrs. Stanton, Parker Pillsbury, and Laura Johns, all key people in her life for a great many years, as well as both her brothers and their life in Kansas. She refers to John Brown and her brother's participation in the 1856 battle at Osawatomic. And, in closing, refers back to the earlier and subsequent Kansas suffrage campaigns and optimistically looks forward to the third.
All On Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery, by Henry Meyer.
Appleton's Encyclopedia of American Biography, pp. 20,137.
Century of Struggle, by Eleanor Flexner and Ellen FitzPatrick.
Dictionary of American Biography; Dictionary of National Biography, pp. 608-9.
History of Woman Suffrage, Stanton et al., Vol. IV, pp. 189-191.
The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, by Ida H. Harper.
Not for Ourselves Along: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, by Ken Burns, pp. 111-12.
One Woman, One Vote, by Marjorie Wheeler.
Woman Suffrage and the Origins of Liberal Feminism in the United States, by Suzanne Marilley, p.60.

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